A Time Magazine article came out where the author implies that the craft beer market is becoming saturated, and seems to be raising the inevitable question: how long can the craft beer industry grow exponentially? 

There is no doubt that we're in the middle of a craft beer renaissance - or a craft beer craze, if you will.  Great ideas travel fast in a lightning-fast global social media game of telephone...and inevitably, when great ideas travel, people get excited.  The craft beer beer industry is projected to grow through 2017, according to the market research firm Mintel, and has already doubled in the past six years, despite the recession and the decline of the big-named domestic brands.  There is a certain level of excitement about craft beer which may dissipate over time among the masses, sure.  But would anyone ever ask the question: will the wine industry shrivel up and die when people no longer want high-quality wine?  No.  People will always want high quality wine.  Duh.

Of course, at some point, the craft beer market may become saturated and the rate of growth will slow.  It's almost a rhetorical question that Time is asking.  And inevitably, those breweries who produce an inferior product will get squeezed out.  But there will always be room for new breweries with a great ideas or a stellar brew.  And there will always be those of us willing to pay for it.  As the craft beer market becomes saturated, it grows more competitive and the breweries that are able to make it produce a great product.  My brewer friends, I know this makes it harder on the little guy to compete, especially if they're upgrading from home brewing to a new, larger system for the first time and have some kinks to work out, and that is a raw deal - but I have to also say that, given this scenario, the craft beer consumer wins.  So I say, keep that craft beer flowing, bitches!
 


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